Two or three Senate races probably turned on netroots efforts - one, James Webb, was strongly impacted by YouTube...
It is good Webb beat Allen... consider this (via tpm -- thanks for the link Jim)...
it seems Sen Webb is still waiting for a simple yes or no answer from Ms Rice. He is even making it extra easy for her (bless him):
January 29, 2007
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice:
During your appearance before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on January 11, 2007, I asked you a question pertaining to the administration’s policy regarding possible military action against Iran. I asked, “Is it the position of this administration that it possesses the authority to take unilateral action against Iran, in the absence of a direct threat, without congressional approval?”
At that time you were loath to discuss questions of presidential authority, but you committed to provide a written answer. Since I have not yet received a reply, the purpose of this letter is to reiterate my interest in your response.
This is, basically, a “yes” or “no” question regarding an urgent matter affecting our nation’s foreign policy. Remarks made by members of this administration strongly suggest that the administration wrongly believes that the 2002 joint resolution authorizing use of force in Iraq can be applied in other instances, such as in the case of Iran. I, as well as the American people, would benefit by fully understanding the administration’s unequivocal response.
I would appreciate your expeditious reply and look forward to discussing this issue with you in the near future.
As Bush unravels and threatens the power of the Republicans, commentary has been appearing in very conservative pages - like The American Conservative. In Going for Broke, Andrew Bacevich examines Bush and the neocons..
Neoconservatives instantly grasped the nature of the threat: the issue at hand was not simply Iraq. Neocons have long loathed Baker as an unprincipled wheeler-dealer (and barely closeted anti-Semite). Now here was their nemesis leading the Old Guard in an assault on their most cherished convictions. If Bush took the bait—if he chose to cut his losses in Iraq—the effect would be to discredit their entire approach to foreign policy. Neoconservative hopes of “transforming” the Islamic world, banishing tyranny from the face of the earth, and securing permanent global dominion based on unquestioned military supremacy all would be dashed.
So neoconservatives launched a fierce—at times hysterical—counterattack. Among their several complaints, one in particular stood out: Baker and Hamilton based their conclusions on the assumption that victory in Iraq lay beyond reach. Neocon critics portrayed this as the ultimate heresy. Any admission of failure in Iraq was premature, they insisted. The war there had to be won, and it could be won.
Enter Frederick Kagan. A lesser light in the neoconservative constellation, Kagan had for months been flogging his own scheme for turning the tide in Iraq. From his perch at 17th and M Street, it all appeared quite simple: rather than looking for ways to turn the war over to the Iraqis, it was time for American commanders to get serious about winning. They needed to quash the insurgency and secure the population, thereby creating conditions for economic reconstruction and political “reconciliation.” Above all, winning meant sending more G.I.’s to Iraq and especially into Baghdad, which Kagan identified as the decisive battlefield.
Here was the neoconservative response to James Baker: the imperative of the moment was not to withdraw but to surge.
In a series of articles, op-eds, and interviews, Kagan argued his case with remarkable sangfroid. Writing in The Weekly Standard, he insisted that enlarging the U.S. troop commitment was “the only option likely to bring peace to Iraq.” It made no sense to consider any of the proposed alternatives: “All will fail.” Dismissing concerns of senior military officers that American forces were about tapped out, Kagan did his own arithmetic and found it “obvious that there are many more troops to send.” Kagan had equally little patience for complaints that units recently returned from the war zone needed time to refit before another tour. If it proved necessary to “send forces that are not as well trained as one would like,” then so be it, he wrote. Although the army chief of staff had recently gone on record worrying that his service might crack under the stress of repeated deployments, Kagan was having none of it: “The Army will not break with this proposal.” And if the Pentagon needed additional forces to sustain the surge, Kagan had a ready solution. In his AEI report “Choosing Victory,” he counseled President Bush to “issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of this age.”
Only when it came to the dimensions of the surge did Kagan’s assurance slip. In early December 2006, he was insisting that 80,000 reinforcements were needed. As he refined his plan, that number shrunk. By year’s end he concluded that a mere 30,000 additional troops would suffice. Did this adjustment reflect Kagan’s perception that the task was becoming easier? Were conditions in Iraq somehow improving? Or was Kagan tacitly acknowledging that the Pentagon did not after all have “many more troops to send”? He offered no explanation.
Nothing really new here, except the fact that it comes from a right-wing source. The American Conservative is where one expects a bit of internal Republican debate, but according to a friend who regularly reads it, the level of debate - and utter contempt for Bush - has exploded in the past six months.
In the meantime the death toll for American troops in the Iraq adventure is now at 3080 and going up...